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Count Dracula () is the title character of Bram Stoker's 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula . He is considered to be both the prototypical and the archetypal vampire in subsequent works of fiction . He is also depicted in the novel to be the origin of werewolf legends. Some aspects of the character are believed to have been inspired by the 15th-century Wallachian Prince Vlad the Impaler, who was also known as Dracula . Other character aspects have been added or altered in subsequent popular fictional works. The character has subsequently appeared frequently in popular culture , from films to animated media to breakfast cereals.